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Map of Dripping Springs Lake State Park (PDF)

Kayaking Locations

Grave Creek above Lake Eufaula near Hitchita, OK.
Kayaking from Grave Creek to Lake Eufaula

 

Deep Fork River Bridge at Nuyaka
Deep Fork River

 

 

 

 

Sinking Sun
Dripping Springs Lake

 

 

 

 

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Paddling Salt Creek into Okmulgee Lake.

Salt Creek is a narrow curvy channel of flatwater leading into Okmulgee Lake.Salt Creek is basically a narrow curvy ditch that runs from the base of the Dripping Springs Lake Dam and down a mile or two into Lake Okmulgee.  During all but the dryest of seasons Salt Creek offers a depth of backwater that makes it ideal for a bit of sheltered, wake-free lake paddling.  Sadly, this is one of those dry seasons and the level of Okmulgee Lake is so low that it has nearly dried up the Salt Creek backwater.  See the picture to the right.  If you have paddled here before, you know the level is unusually low here at the canoe launch spot. However, it still offers plenty of water for paddling.  Due to its role transferring water between the two lakes Salt Creek is sometimes up even during dry seasons, so be sure to check it out if you ever find yourself visiting Okmulgee State Park.

Sunset on Salt CreekThe Okmulgee State Park area offers camping and several boat ramps on two lakes: Lake Okmulgee and Dripping Springs Lake.  Okmulgee lake is also called the old lake, it is deeper and it has few snags or drowned trees, this makes it popular for ski boats, wakeboarding and jet boat races. 

Dripping Springs Lake is wider & shallower and full of underwater obstacles. Technically, only fishing boats are allowed on Dripping Springs Lake, keep that in mind when talking to any lake rangers about your kayaking adventures. It is why I own a fishing license.  I rarely fish, but I like to keep it open as an option for times when the scenery is dull or the light is too poor for kayak photography.

Both lakes can be reached by entering the Okmulgee Lake / Okmulgee State Park entrance off Highway 56 about 5 or 10 minutes south of Okmulgee City limits. If you reach the spillway, coming from Okmulgee...you passed the entrance.  Stop and look at the spillway while you are there, then turn around and drive back till you see the sign for the entrance. Try to make it look like you meant to do that.

For a one-way trip paddling Salt Creek, I like to leave a vehicle at the take-out at the Hickory Area Boat ramp.  This is also an awesome spot to RV camp, when it isn't full at the height of summer vacation. Just drive around the park road until you reach the last area, that is the Hickory Area and it is marked with a sign.

Groups can meet-up here and leave a vehicle here to shuttle folks back to the put-in to retrieve their vehicles.  Someone should stay and watch the boats until everyone gets back with their vehicles.  No Boats Left Behind!

To drive to the put-in from Hickory Point get back on the park road and keep going away from the park entrance off highway 56.  You should pass the Okmulgee State Park exit sign.

Okmulgee State Park Exit Sign

Keep going until you come to the sign marking Dripping Springs State Park, but DON'T enter the Dripping Springs State Park.

Dripping Springs State Park Sign

Instead of entering the park, continue down toward the lake's dam on S 150 RD to the put-in at the base of the lake dam.

The Put-in is not far down S 150 RD. look for a little circle pull-in opposite of a high grassy hill on the other side of the road.  That grassy hill is the dam for Dripping Springs Lake.

Salt Creek Put-in and Dripping Springs Lake Dam

A little bit of dirt beyond the pull-in you see above takes you to the edge of the little ditch that is lower Salt Creek.  Launch your kayak at the edge of the water, there is no boat ramp, but it is still an easy place to launch. 

There is a bit of cement at the pull-in, it used to have a plaque or something on it.  Now it simply says: RS., if you see it...you are in the right place.

The Put-in for paddling lower Salt Creek down to Okmulgee Lake 

Watch out for fishermen that may already be setup here if you don't arrive early.

I hope these direction help you find this nice, safe bit of current-free, flatwater.  I find it most lovely in the mornings, but it is nice at sunset as well.

Happy Paddling!

Salt Creek Lake Okmulgee - Great spot for recreational kayaks!
Salt Creek on Lake Okmulgee 

 


You can also access the Deep Fork River in a number of places near Okmulgee, Oklahoma including a new public boat ramp located on Hwy 266 between Dewar and Grayson.

Paddling the Deep Fork River from the New Highway 266 Bridge

Boat Ramp Between Dewar and Grayson

There is a nice road leading underneath the new Deep Fork River bridge on Highway 266 between Dewar and Grayson, Oklahoma. You can park a good distance off the highway, yet close to the water. We were able to easily launch our recreational kayaks from under the new bridge and paddle either way for quite a distance! The river channel is both deep and wide here and not nearly as clogged up with logjams as most of the Deep Fork River. From here the river leads to Lake Eufaula.

If you want real maps, there is a list of links to local kayaking put-ins for our part of Oklahoma in the left hand column of this page.
 

Lower Salt Creek


Salt Creek is a deep and narrow creek that runs between Okmulgee's two lakes. There is a nice parking spot and an excellent kayak launch spot right across the road from the Dripping Springs Lake Dam (approximately 3534' 32" N, 966' 14" W - map link).

In my humble opinion, this portion Salt Creek offers the best flatwater, no-current, paddling in Okmulgee County. 

Salt Creek offers plenty of shade, still waters on a windy day, herons, osprey and other waterfowl all in a long no-wake zone far from the boat racers and jet ski hazards of Lake Okmulgee.

Other advantages include plentiful camping and RV facilities at Dripping Springs Lake and Lake Okmulgee and a well paved road that leads to the put-in. Expect to see plenty of beautiful whitetail deer on the road at twilight.

This is a great spot to canoe or kayak, especially for newcomers to the sport or kayak photographers looking for glassy conditions. (View Our Salt Creek Kayaking Slideshow)

 

Got some trip advice...email us or drop a comment in on our blog


Clovis Point Campground at Dripping Springs Lake near Okmulgee, Oklahoma
Dripping Springs Lake Sunset
Taken at Clovis Point Campground

See our kayaking weblog page for trip details and links to Google maps to get you there! You can even grab some cool kayaking t-shirts or other great gifts for Oklahoma adventure seekers.

 

 

...More Paddler's Gear

Choose a Spray Skirt for Your Kayak

Directions to Okmulgee's Two Lakes

The simplest way to get to Dripping Springs Lake is to enter Okmulgee State Park which is about 4 miles out of Okmulgee on Highway 56. Once you are on the main road going around Okmulgee Lake, you can follow that main road to Dripping Springs Lake. Here is a link to a map of the road around both lakes.
 

Dripping Springs Lake Map

To paddle to Upper Salt Creek the closest put-in that I know of is by the Fishing Dock at the Clovis Point Area on Dripping Springs Lake.

As you can see on the lake map, Clovis Point is at the bottom edge of the map. From Clovis Point you have to paddle South and West to the other side of the lake. This bit is something of a slog through the open lake water, filled with drowning trees.

If possible, pick a day when the wind is low or be prepared for some troublesome waves.

Clovis Point is an excellent camping area offering clean bathrooms, barbecue, shelters and some excellent RV sites with full hook-ups. Since the park is newer than most Oklahoma parks, the facilities are in quite good condition at Clovis Point on Dripping Springs Lake.

 

Okmulgee Lake Map 

 


 


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